St Margarets Circular walk

Quiet rolling Hertfordshire countryside, a haunted, ruined church and long stretches in scenic river valleys.

Thundridge Old Church SWC Walk 165 - St. Margarets Circular

Thundridge Old Church

SWC Walk 165 - St. Margarets Circular

08-Nov-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Approaching Cold Christmas SWC Walk 165 - St. Margarets Circular

Approaching Cold Christmas

SWC Walk 165 - St. Margarets Circular

08-Nov-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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The Ash River Valley SWC Walk 165 - St. Margarets Circular

The Ash River Valley

SWC Walk 165 - St. Margarets Circular

08-Nov-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Hollycross Lake in Autumnal Colours SWC Walk 165 - St. Margarets Circular

Hollycross Lake in Autumnal Colours

SWC Walk 165 - St. Margarets Circular

08-Nov-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk165 walkicon 38241570902 G-T-TG

Amwell Nature Reserve SWC Walk 165 - St. Margarets Circular

Amwell Nature Reserve

SWC Walk 165 - St. Margarets Circular

08-Nov-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk165 walkicon 24402424128 G-T-TG

Ash river survey and they're definitely not walkers...well, not today anyway

Ash river survey

and they're definitely not walkers...well, not today anyway

18-Sep-13 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Hen party Well, what were you egg-specting?

Hen party

Well, what were you egg-specting?

18-Sep-13 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

hens book3 swcwalks walk165 9815582005 G-T

Length 24.1 km (15.0 miles), with 258m ascent/descent. For a shorter or longer walk see below Walk Options.
Toughness 4 out of 10, with 5 hours 15 minutes walking time. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 8 hours.
Walk Notes

This walk leads along ancient tracks and green lanes through some very quiet, rolling East Hertfordshire countryside defined by wheat fields and woods, in-between extensive stretches along the Ash, Rib and Lea rivers. Cold Christmas hamlet and a haunted, ruined church are passed just before lunch in Wadesmill.
Long parts of the afternoon route are spent in the quiet scenic Ash valley, before passing through Amwell Nature Reserve, a bird watcher’s paradise. The final stretch leads along the Lea Navigation back to St. Margarets.

Stile Count: 3; Arable Field Crossings: 330 metres.

Walk Options

Outbound and return route are never far from each other, sometimes as little as 150 metres. See the route map for some obvious and easy-to-follow shortcuts.
Described in the text are the following:
Shortcut I cuts out about half the distance to leave a figure-of-eight walk of 12.6 km (7.8 mi), while also cutting ascent/descent by 168m. This is rated 1/10.
Shortcut II cuts out the outer loop of this walk to leave an hourglass-shaped walk of 19.5 km (12.2 mi), while also cutting ascent/descent by 66m, this is rated 3/10.

An Extension from Wadesmill adds 1.6 km (1.0 mi) and 12m ascent/descent (5/10).

Buses to Ware or Hertford train stations (one or two stops further from London on the same line) are available from the lunch pubs in Wadesmill (line 331; hourly Mon-Sat) and Wareside (lines M3 and M4; with 2 buses in the afternoon, Mon-Sat).

Maps OS Landranger: 166 (Luton & Hertford) and 167 (Chelmsford, only for a very tiny part)
OS Explorer: 194 (Hertford & Bishop’s Stortford)
Travel St. Margarets Station is on the Liverpool Street to Hertford East line (and within the Oyster Pay As You Go-area) with a half-hourly service, journey time 39 minutes (41 on Sundays). Trains stop at Tottenham Hale (connect from the Victoria Line). Buy a return to St. Margarets (Herts).

Saturday Walkers' Club: Take the train closest to 9.45 hours, if walking the full walk, and the one closest to 10.15 hours for the shortest version.

Lunch

Long Walk
Ermines Tea Room & Village Stores 39 Ermine Street, Thundridge, Herts, SG12 0SY (01920 745 042). Ermines is located 10.6 km (6.6 mi) into the main walk.
The Anchor Cambridge Road, Wadesmill, Herts, SG12 0TD (01920 462 861). The Anchor is located 10.8 km (6.7 mi) into the main walk. Currently closed.
The Feathers Inn 49 Cambridge Road, Wadesmill, Herts, SG12 0TN (01920 462 606). Open daily 11.00-23.00. The Feathers Inn and Hotel is located 10.9 km (6.8 mi) into the main walk.

Short Walk
The White Horse Ware Road, Wareside, Ware, Herts, SG12 7QX (01920 464 433). The White Horse is located 12.9 km (8.0 mi) into the shortcut version of the walk and 6.7 km (4.1 mi) from the end of all walk options. Currently closed.
Chequers Inn Ware Road, Wareside, Ware, Herts, SG12 7QY (01920 467 010). The Chequers Inn is located 12.9 km (8.0 mi) into the shortcut version of the walk and 6.7 km (4.1 mi) from the end of all walk options.

Tea

The Jolly Fisherman 8 Station Road, Stanstead St. Margarets, Ware, Herts, SG12 8DH (01920 870 125). A McMullen’s pub with outdoor seating by the Lea Navigation.
The Oak 36 High Street, Stanstead Abbotts, Ware, Herts, SG12 8AG (01920 877 294). A Fuller's pub with dining rooms.
The Red Lion & Amico di Amici 1 High Street, Stanstead Abbots, Ware, Herts, SG12 8AA (01920 410 056).

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National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Jun-22 Thomas G

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml

Walk Directions  

Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk